Kent State vs UCF Prediction - College Football Picks 8/31/23

UCF Knights (0-0) vs Kent State Golden Flashes (0-0)

Game Info: Thursday, August 31, 2023 at 7:00 pm (FBC Mortgage Stadium)

Betting Odds: UCF Knights -37 -- Over/Under: 55.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds

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The Kent State Golden Flashes and UCF Knights face off on Thursday in a Week 1 College Football showdown at the Bright House Networks Stadium. 

Kent State Looks to be Rebuilding 

The Kent State program looked like it was finally getting back on the right track, and now they have taken some steps back. Sean Lewis was really turning around the program with his offense, but the former head coach has now taken a job with the Colorado Buffaloes program. Kent State lost a lot of Lewis players to the transfer portal, and now it’s time for the rebuild. Kenni Burns is the new coach after being the running backs coach at Minnesota. The Gophers have had one of the best running games the last few years, and there is no doubt running will be the focus of this team. Trell Harris was brought in and he should be a great addition to the wide receiver room. 

Kent State Betting Trends

  • The road team has won each of Kent State's last four games.
  • Kent State has failed to cover the spread in each of its last three season openers.
  • Kent State has lost the first half in three of its last four games against non-conference opponents.
  • Four of Kent State's last five season openers have gone UNDER the total points line.

UCF Makes the Move to the Big 12

UCF has made the move to the Big 12 and they have a great opportunity this season to make a lot of noise with this team. Guz Malzahn is back for another year in charge of the Knights, and now that they are in the Big 12, there will be even more pressure on him. John Rhys Plumlee is back under center for UCF after being so dominant last year. He threw for 2586 yards and 14 touchdowns and added another 1,091 yards and 11 touchdowns on the ground. On defense this Knights team has some question marks, but there is one big strength, the secondary. Cornerback Decorian Patterson came in from Middle Tennessee, and he’s going to need to have a big year.

Central Florida Betting Trends

  • UCF has won each of its last eight Thursday games against non-AP-ranked teams.
  • UCF has failed to cover the spread in each of its last four games.
  • UCF has won the first half in seven of its last eight home games against non-conference opponents.
  • Five of UCF's last six games against non-conference opponents have gone UNDER the total points line.

Kent State and UCF Facts

  • UCF ranked 20th among FBS teams for H2 points per game last season (17.0).
  • UCF ranked T21st among FBS teams for Q4 win percentage last season (.571).
  • Kent State ranked 30th among FBS teams for Q2 points per game last season (10.2).

Shane’s Free Pick

This Kent State offense is going to have some major issues moving the ball, and UCF is going to want to make a statement, even if it’s against just a MAC team. UCF has Plumlee under center and he’s going to have a big game. He might sit out the entire 4th quarter, but he’s going to have so much success in the first three quarters that Kent State isn’t going to have any real chance. This is going to be an easy victory for UCF. Back UCF to win this game and cover the spread. 

The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a PickDawgz site consensus.

Mitch's Take...

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